Illumina Supports Norway's Pioneering Precision Medicine Study
Study to assess the efficacy of blood-based comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in cancer therapy selection testing
SAN DIEGO, December 17, 2021 /3BL Media/ -- Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), announced that it is supporting a national precision medicine study in Norway to assess the efficacy of blood-based comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in cancer therapy selection testing. The study will also evaluate the cost-effectiveness of implementing blood-based CGP in the public healthcare system. The overarching study is called IMPRESS-Norway (Improving public cancer care by implementing precision medicine in Norway) and is designed to match already-approved cancer medicines with other tumors, depending on their molecular profile, to drive a precision medicine approach to cancer therapy selection across the country.
Within IMPRESS-Norway, Illumina is supporting a sub-study of 500 patients comparing solid tissue biopsies with easier-to-obtain blood samples to see if regular blood testing can provide additional information on the genetic changes within a patient's cancer which may be relevant to the choice of treatment. If so, less invasive CGP testing of blood samples could potentially replace tissue sampling, substantially increasing the number of patients able to have their tumors profiled and be included in clinical trials for cancer therapy selection. The CGP analysis will be done using Illumina's DRAGEN software.
"Using CGP testing on a blood sample, which is less invasive and able to be performed when tissue is limited or difficult to obtain, means that a patient can be matched to the most appropriate therapy, and its impact on the tumor can be tracked at the molecular level over time," said Phil Febbo, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Illumina. "As a result, CGP testing of a sample can assess many mutations and biomarkers simultaneously and improve outcomes."
The CGP testing of blood and tissue samples will be carried out across the national infrastructure for precision diagnostics (InPreD) – a network of pathology departments across Norwegian hospitals that deliver next-generation sequencing services.
"Securing high-quality tissue biopsies can be both challenging and time-consuming," said Dr Hege Russnes, Senior Consultant in Pathology, Oslo University Hospital and Head of the Infrastructure for Precision Diagnostics for cancer (InPreD). "The use of blood sample analysis could offer a powerful diagnostic tool for determining relevant biomarkers in advanced cancer patients so that we can match them effectively to clinical trials. We are grateful to Illumina's support of this project and excited about the opportunity to investigate the match towards the CGP results from the tissue samples."
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Dr. Karen Birmingham
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